Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Hot Hitter Rundown

Rotoworld

The cliché that the standard fantasy baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint is certainly true, but keeping an eye on the hottest players in the game is still extremely important when making start/bench decisions, making pickups and getting fair value in trades.  It has become even more important recently with the popularity of daily games such as FanDuel growing.

It should be noted that short-term production in MLB involves a limited sample size, and should be analyzed and scrutinized for its level of significance, or lack thereof, very closely.  With these factors in mind, the following is a rundown of the hottest hitters over the last seven days according to Rotoworld’s Player Rater.


Mention of players on these lists is a statement of fact that they are playing well for fantasy owners recently, but not necessarily a long-term endorsement of ownership in fantasy leagues, unless otherwise noted.

Player Rater numbers and review cover games for the week of 7/14-7/20. Given the short week of games, players not listed in the top 10 weekly ranks are also mentioned in the notes below.

Catcher

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 7 Yan Gomes CLE C 1.50 -0.10 -0.40 2.28 2.65 5.93
2 29 Brayan Peña CIN C 3.49 0.71 -0.40 0.10 0.77 4.68
3 23 Yasmani Grandal SD C 3.49 0.71 -0.40 0.10 0.77 4.68
4 3 Buster Posey SF C -0.49 2.34 -0.40 1.44 0.77 3.66
5 NR J.P. Arencibia TEX C 1.50 1.53 -0.40 -0.05 0.77 3.35
6 38 David Ross BOS C 1.50 0.71 -0.40 -0.37 0.77 2.22
7 14 Dioner Navarro TOR C 1.50 0.71 -0.40 0.42 -0.17 2.07
8 8 Derek Norris OAK C 1.50 -0.10 -0.40 0.12 0.77 1.90
9 6 Miguel Montero ARZ C -0.49 1.53 -0.40 0.27 0.77 1.68
10 25 Tyler Flowers CWS C -0.49 1.53 -0.40 1.81 -1.11 1.34

There is no stopping Yan Gomes.  The Brazilian backstop hit .600 last week and continues to increase his stock on the catcher ranks.  While his batting average is about 20 points lower than last season, the rest of his numbers are nearly identical to last year in about the same number of at-bats … Brayan Pena is drawing some starts at first base with Joey Votto sidelined, and that seems likely to continue unless the Reds address that area via trade.  Reports indicate Votto could be out for five more weeks, so Pena is a worthy addition in two-catcher leagues … Speaking of catchers playing first base, the desperate Rangers called up J.P. Arencibia to man their first base spot this week.  Arencibia hit 14 homers in 190 at-bats while in the minors, and has averaged 21 homers over the last three seasons.  For all his blemishes, Arencibia is certainly worth owning if he’s going to stick around … Geovany Soto is also back for the Rangers after missing the first half with a knee injury.  The Rangers don’t have much time for Soto to build up trade value, but they can see if he’s worthy of sticking around as their starting catcher next season.  Soto has been a part-time player for the Rangers since he was acquired in 2012, but he hit 17 home runs as recently as 2011 … Catchers are known for wearing down in the second half, but Miguel Montero doesn’t share that trend over his career.  His OPS is nearly 60 points higher after the break for his career, and he’s off to a nice start … John Jaso was just outside the top 10 catchers last week at No. 11, and the hope is that his bat will also stay fresh for the second half after only playing 43 games behind the plate thus far.  It should also be noted that he’s caught only 19 full games thus far.

First Base

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 6 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B 5.49 2.34 -0.40 1.44 1.71 10.58
2 1 Paul Goldschmidt ARZ 1B 3.49 2.34 -0.40 0.94 2.65 9.03
3 14 James Loney TB 1B -0.49 0.71 1.55 2.60 -0.17 4.21
4 18 Mike Napoli BOS 1B 1.50 -0.10 -0.40 1.46 0.77 3.24
5 NR Dan Johnson TOR 1B -0.49 1.53 -0.40 0.62 1.71 2.97
6 17 Chris Davis BAL 1B 1.50 0.71 -0.40 0.10 0.77 2.69
7 25 Nick Swisher CLE 1B -0.49 2.34 -0.40 -0.27 0.77 1.95
8 4 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B -0.49 -0.91 1.55 1.24 -0.17 1.22
9 15 Eric Hosmer KC 1B -0.49 0.71 -0.40 1.26 -0.17 0.92
10 9 Matt Adams STL 1B 1.50 0.71 -0.40 -0.74 -0.17 0.91

Anthony Rizzo has been the Cubs’ one truly exemplary hitter this season, and he was slugging well in Arizona with three homers in three games.  He remains on pace to be the team’s MVP, with an OPS above .900 and a home run pace near 40 … James Loney is quietly having another nice season, on pace to drive in 60-plus batters for the seventh time in his career.  He could still be available in some mixed leagues … Veteran Dan Johnson is enjoying some playing time at first base and DH for the desperate Blue Jays.  Johnson has shown some power in the past, but hasn’t done anything to garner consideration beyond AL-only leagues … Nick Swisher finished the first half on the top 10 weekly list, and he starts the second half on it.  He is starting to slug more extra-base hits, and had the advantage of a doubleheader over the weekend.

Second Base

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 11 Jason Kipnis CLE 2B 3.49 3.97 -0.40 0.74 1.71 9.52
2 9 Neil Walker PIT 2B 1.50 0.71 -0.40 2.60 3.59 8.01
3 1 Jose Altuve HOU 2B 1.50 2.34 -0.40 0.92 0.77 5.13
4 14 Ben Zobrist TB 2B 1.50 1.53 -0.40 -0.40 1.71 3.95
5 6 Howie Kendrick ANA 2B -0.49 -0.10 1.55 1.76 -0.17 2.55
6 28 Josh Rutledge COL 2B 1.50 0.71 -0.40 0.79 -0.17 2.44
7 17 Aaron Hill ARZ 2B -0.49 -0.91 1.55 1.26 0.77 2.18
8 10 Scooter Gennett MLW 2B 1.50 -0.10 -0.40 0.12 0.77 1.90
9 NR Arismendy Alcantara CHC 2B -0.49 -0.10 3.50 -1.41 -0.17 1.32
10 27 Tommy La Stella ATL 2B -0.49 2.34 -0.40 0.77 -1.11 1.11

Jason Kipnis was one of the biggest disappointments of the first half, but his post-break is off to a nice start with a .333-2-6 line to start.  He’s been somewhat streaky in his short career, so let’s hope this is the start of a hot streak … Josh Rutledge has found some starts at shortstop with Troy Tulowitzki out and made the most of them.  Of course, Rutledge has a strong argument to be Colorado’s starting second baseman ahead of D.J. LeMahieu with an OPS that is more than 140 points higher.  It’s time for Rockies manager Walt Weiss to play his best players with an eye toward 2015 … Arismendy Alcantara continues to perform as a regular for the Cubs.  While he didn’t hit well over the weekend, Alcantara did swipe two bases.  He should remain in the lineup regularly when Emilio Bonifacio returns … Fellow rookie Tommy La Stella is also holding his own, and the release of Dan Uggla is a full endorsement by Atlanta.  La Stella has been exactly as advertised, with his batting average inching near .300 along with a very strong OBP … Jordany Valdespin was called up by the Marlins, and is starting to see regular at-bats at second base in the mess that is Miami’s second base situation.  It remains to be seen if Valdespin can hold onto the job, but it’s not as if the organization has significantly better healthy options at this time.  He’s certainly worth considering in NL-only leagues.

Third Base

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 3 Josh Donaldson OAK 3B 1.50 3.16 -0.40 0.60 2.65 7.50
2 7 Casey McGehee FLA 3B 1.50 1.53 1.55 1.26 -0.17 5.67
3 17 Matt Dominguez HOU 3B 1.50 2.34 -0.40 0.42 1.71 5.58
4 11 Pablo Sandoval SF 3B 1.50 1.53 -0.40 1.09 1.71 5.43
5 16 Chris Johnson ATL 3B 1.50 1.53 1.55 0.77 -0.17 5.18
6 1 Todd Frazier CIN 3B 1.50 -0.10 1.55 -0.07 -0.17 2.71
7 19 Trevor Plouffe MIN 3B 1.50 0.71 -0.40 0.10 0.77 2.69
8 22 Manny Machado BAL 3B 1.50 1.53 -0.40 0.10 -0.17 2.56
9 6 Evan Longoria TB 3B -0.49 2.34 -0.40 1.09 -0.17 2.37
10 25 David Freese ANA 3B 1.50 0.71 -0.40 -0.59 0.77 2.00

Fresh off his All-Star appearance, Josh Donaldson had a big weekend vs. Baltimore highlighted by a walkoff home run on Friday night.  Donaldson’s batting average has been a disappointment, but fantasy owners can’t complain about his power with a 35 home run pace … The only major reservation regarding Casey McGehee’s season has been his lack of power, and he hit just his second homer over the weekend.  McGehee once hit 23 homers with the Brewers, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see his power pick up during the second half … Chris Johnson has quietly been one of baseball’s hottest hitters over the last two weeks after an anemic start to his season.  He now has four homers over his last five games, and is looking like a worthy pickup if he was dropped in mixed leagues … Manny Machado’s full court press continues.  While he has only 23 RBI in 65 games, Machado’s batting average is getting closer to last season and he’s already reached double-digit homers after hitting 14 bombs all of last season … David Freese is hitting .320 in July, showing some of his old form.  He also hit a respectable .280 in June.

Shortstop

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 18 J.J. Hardy BAL SS 1.50 0.71 -0.40 1.12 1.71 4.64
2 19 Jordy Mercer PIT SS -0.49 1.53 1.55 0.77 0.77 4.12
3 15 Derek Jeter NYY SS -0.49 0.71 1.55 0.60 0.77 3.14
4 29 Marwin Gonzalez HOU SS -0.49 0.71 -0.40 2.13 0.77 2.73
5 22 Xander Bogaerts BOS SS 1.50 0.71 -0.40 -0.37 0.77 2.22
6 7 Jose Reyes TOR SS -0.49 0.71 1.55 0.08 -0.17 1.68
7 11 Asdrubal Cabrera CLE SS 1.50 0.71 -0.40 -0.92 0.77 1.67
8 4 Jimmy Rollins PHI SS 1.50 0.71 -0.40 -1.24 0.77 1.35
9 5 Ian Desmond WAS SS -0.49 1.53 -0.40 -0.07 -1.11 0.54
10 28 Yunel Escobar TB SS -0.49 -0.10 -0.40 0.60 -0.17 0.56

J.J. Hardy makes the list for the second consecutive week, after launching his fourth homer of the season.  He has nowhere to go but up at this point, and Hardy’s batting average has been enough to keep him in fantasy lineups on a part-time basis … Jordy Mercer has regressed after a strong rookie season, but a strong weekend allowed him to make the list.  The minor league splits didn’t show much more than a platoon player, and that’s been the case for Mercer this season with a .746 OPS vs. lefties and .637 against right-handers … It’s fitting that Derek Jeter would get off to a strong start after his star shined at the All-Star Game, though it didn’t take much to make the shortstop list this week … Marwin Gonzalez has never been much more than a single-league play, but he’s done a nice job replacing Jonathan Villar for the Astros … It will be interesting to see if Xander Bogaerts can maintain his playing time when Will Middlebrooks returns to the Red Sox.  Middlebrooks hasn’t exactly hit well when he has been in the majors this season, but Bogaerts has also had serious issues recently.  He hit just .135 in June, and was hitting .136 in July until Monday’s game.

Outfield

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 10 Jacoby Ellsbury NYY OF 1.50 1.53 5.44 1.93 0.77 11.18
2 13 Melky Cabrera TOR OF 1.50 1.53 1.55 2.43 1.71 8.72
3 106 Peter Bourjos STL OF 1.50 0.71 5.44 1.14 -0.17 8.63
4 9 Adam Jones BAL OF 1.50 3.16 3.50 -0.57 0.77 8.35
5 25 Torii Hunter DET OF 1.50 1.53 1.55 0.77 2.65 8.00
6 72 Colby Rasmus TOR OF 1.50 0.71 3.50 1.44 0.77 7.92
7 77 Ryan Zimmerman WAS OF 1.50 3.16 -0.40 1.93 1.71 7.90
8 78 Giancarlo Stanton FLA OF 3.49 0.71 1.55 0.27 1.71 7.74
9 117 Will Venable SD OF 1.50 -0.10 3.50 0.77 0.77 6.44
10 17 Ryan Braun MLW OF 1.50 0.71 1.55 0.27 1.71 5.75
11 40 Matt Holliday STL OF 1.50 3.16 -0.40 0.62 0.77 5.65
12 1 Mike Trout ANA OF 1.50 -0.10 -0.40 1.24 2.65 4.89
13 61 Alejandro De Aza CWS OF -0.49 -0.10 1.55 1.12 2.65 4.72
14 NR Chris Dickerson CLE OF 3.49 0.71 -0.40 0.12 0.77 4.71
15 122 Bryce Harper WAS OF 1.50 -0.10 -0.40 1.61 1.71 4.33
16 53 Austin Jackson DET OF -0.49 1.53 1.55 1.59 -0.17 4.00
17 34 Jason Heyward ATL OF 1.50 1.53 -0.40 -0.40 1.71 3.95
18 3 Michael Brantley CLE OF -0.49 -0.91 1.55 1.74 1.71 3.59
19 52 Dayan Viciedo CWS OF 1.50 0.71 -0.40 -0.07 1.71 3.45
20 44 Josh Harrison PIT OF -0.49 -0.10 3.50 -0.22 0.77 3.45

Ellsbury is heating up for the Yankees, with two homers over his last four games and three steals during the weekend series.  He hasn’t exactly equaled what fantasy owners paid on draft day, but Ellsbury is far from a major disappointment … Peter Bourjos has been in the Cardinals lineup solely for his defense this season, but he might have bought himself more playing time with a strong weekend series.  The Cardinals still don’t exactly trust rookie Oscar Taveras as an everyday center fielder … Torii Hunter has the lowest on-base percentage of his career, but he’s on pace for his best home run total since 2007.  It is frustrating to see that Hunter has only 10 walks to this point … Matt Holliday has made a living in the second half during his career, with an OPS that is 60 points higher after the break.  The Cardinals are hopeful that his quick start to the second half continues after hitting only six homers before the break … It would be quite a story if Josh Harrison could maintain his value as a mixed-league starter through the end of the season.  The utilityman lost much of his playing time when Gregory Polanco was called up, but made the list with two steals over the weekend … Adam Eaton is absent from the list due to his lack of counting stats over the weekend, but he’s on an eight-game hitting streak after Monday’s game and has three consecutive multi-hit games.  His batting average is getting closer to what most fantasy owners expected.

View Comments (1)